Adapted from Leith’s Baking Bible
250g self-raising flour
1/3tsp ground cardamom
115g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
85g caster sugar (I actually use 2/3 caster sugar and 1/3 soft brown sugar, which gives the buns a slight caramel flavour)
30g ground almonds
1 room-temperature egg, beaten
For the icing
100g icing sugar
1 Heat the oven to 190ºC (gas mark 5). Line 12 muffin tins with paper cake cases.
2 Finely grate the zest from the 2 oranges and squeeze the juice from 1 of them.
3 Sift the flour and ground cardamom into a large bowl and rub in the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and almonds.
4 Add the zest, juice, egg and milk to the flour mixture and mix well. The batter should be a reluctant dropping consistency, so, if necessary, add a little more milk.
5 Divide the batter between the cases and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
6 When the buns are cold, mix the icing sugar with enough juice squeezed from the remaining orange to make a thick glacé icing (start with a scant teaspoon and add more from there). Spread about a teaspoon of icing on each bun and leave to set.
TIPS: Obviously, if you don’t like the taste of cardamom, just leave it out. These buns also freeze well. When they’re cold but before you ice them, stick them in airtight container and pop them in the freezer. Then you can defrost them individually, as when you have the desire for a little something sweet.
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